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The Social Setting of the Ministry as Reflected in the Writings of Hermas, Clement and Ignatius

By Harry O. Maier
Subjects Religion
Series Studies in Christianity and Judaism Hide Details
Paperback : 9780889204119, 240 pages, November 2002

Table of contents

Table of Contents for The Social Setting of the Ministry as Reflected in the Writings of Hermas, Clement, and Ignatius by Harry O. Maier



A Topic with a Long History

The Early Ministry and the Household: A House-Church Trajectory

The Methodology

The Strategy


Chapter One: The Household in the Ancient World

The Traditional Graeco-Roman Household

The Household and Mystery Religions and Foreign Cults, Philosophical Schools, Associations, and Jewish Synagogues



Chapter Two: The Pauline Epistles

Part One: The Genuie Pauline Epistles

The Early Pauline Church as Sectarian

The Household Context of the Christian Sect

House-Church Leadership

Part Two: The Pseudonymous Pauline Epistles

Colossian and Ephesians

The Pastoral Epistles



Chapter Three: The Shepherd of Hermas


Purpose of the Work

Relation between the Church and the World

Ethics and Separation from the World


Chapter Four: I Clement

The Setting of the Corinthian Dispute

I Clement and Sect Development




Chapter Five: Ignatius

The Social Setting of the Ignatian Epistles

Charisma in the Ignatian Epistles

Ignatius and Community-Protecting Charisma



Chapter Six: Epilogue




Edition of Primary Sources

Secondary Sources


Focussing on three first- and early-second-century documents (the Shepherd of Hermas, 1 Clement and the Ignatian epistles), this work contributes to a growing body of literature concerned with the social setting of early Christianity. Maier argues that the development of structures of leadership in the early Christian church is best accounted for by reference to the hospitality, patronage, and leadership of wealthy hosts who invited local Christian groups to meet in their homes. Sociological models and types are employed to analyze the tensions that arose from excesses of patronage and leadership by the well-to-do.

Recognizing the socio-economic setting of these conflicts corrects the interpretation of early Christian conflicts over the ministry as purely theological and doctrinali.


``. imaginative and stimulating application of new methods to old problems. ''

- Michael Hollerich, Santa Clara University, Theological Studies

``. ..he has put an important piece of the puzzle in place. ''

- Wayne A. Meeks, Journal of Theological Studies

``The book is well written and well argued. of its strengths is the summary of scholarship on every main point. This is done smoothly, not tediously. ''

- Carolyn Osiek, R.S.C.J. Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, The Catholic Biblical Quarterly